Everybody Wants Some!!

Like Linklater's best work, Everybody Wants Some!! is deceptively simple. It inspires in you the desire to round up your friends and shoot a movie, even though you could never equal the relaxed, quiet excellence his movies radiate. Good lord, this is just a whole heap of fun. People will find ways to say this is better than Dazed and Confused or vice versa but that's a pointless exercise. Formally, I think it's slightly less exciting (I'm thinking of the amazing shot in D&C early on that slowly moves past Wiley Wiggins during the baseball game) but Linklater seems to have compensated for that with a more muscular movie that may be less beholden to "classic" lines. I think it was Matt Zoller Seitz who remarked, after seeing Knight of Cups, that nobody is making movies like Malick is. That the "sheer freedom of it [was] intoxicating". Well, that's exactly how I feel about Linklater and the way his new movie operates. No conflict, no stakes, no structure, no clichés, no judgments. This movie is liberating in comparison to every single thing out there at the moment. The only thing holding this back from legendary status is Linklater's penchant for Deep Talks. These are beautiful and real in the Before trilogy but they can come across as stilted and phony in a movie like this. There's a specific moment in which Jake and his new baseball buddies are unsure of attending a punk concert and Jake's concerns ("I'm having an identity crisis") grind the movie to a halt. And then it goes back to allowing you to parse out information for yourself in the tiniest details. Beverly offering the meathead a Dr. Pepper after he's chugged beers for three days. A glimpse of DEVO's debut record in Jake's crate. The way the group dynamic shifts once another person arrives. It's brilliant, but I prefer the original title: That's What I'm Talking About.

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